Pierce said it was Administrative Secretary Dawnita Spradlin who reported the quake first to the Portsmouth Police and then the Portsmouth Fire Department.
One floor above them in the offices of the Harcha Beck & Book law firm, they also felt the brunt of the shaking.
“Carrie (Berry) called me. It was right at 2 o’clock. The building was shaking,” Todd Book said. “I could sense the fear in her voice, and I knew she wasn’t playing. They all evacuated out of there.”
Mary Justice of National City Bank said the quake was not felt in the bank itself, but they talked with people on the seventh and eighth floors that had experienced the shock.
“They said it was swaying really really bad upstairs,” Justice said. “And I think some of the people were getting dizzy and nauseous from it.”
Jim Elliott of the Portsmouth Fire Department said firefighters responded to and inspected two buildings — the National City Bank Building and Life Ambulance — before allowing occupants to return.
“We went over it (National City Bank) from top to bottom, and we didn’t see any apparent cracks or anything like that,” Elliott said. “Somebody called from Life Ambulance. We checked their building out and it was OK too. That’s the only two calls we had.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a rare earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 5.0, struck at the Ontario-Quebec border region of Canada on Wednesday. The midday quake was felt in the city of Toronto in Canada and in a number of U.S. states, including Michigan, Vermont and New York.
It is presumed that what was felt in Portsmouth was an aftershock of that quake.
There were no immediate reports of damage.
The USGS said the quake occurred at a depth of about 12 miles. The quake occurred at 1:41 p.m. EDT. In New York state, people from Buffalo to Albany and north to Massena on the St. Lawrence River said pets were startled and plates rattled when the quake hit.
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